http://www.ashdenawards.org/winners/creral08 CRERAL (Cooperativa Regional de Eletrificação Rural do Alto Uruguai Ltda) won an Ashden Award for Sustainable Energy in 2008. To find out more visit the link above and check out the Ashden Awards Blog http://ashdenawards.blogspot.com CRERAL is a co-operative which supplies electricity via the grid to 6,300 mainly rural customers in the south of Brazil. To increase capacity and improve reliability, it has built and now operates two mini-hydro plants (0.72 and 1.0 MW capacity) which produce about 5.5 GWh/year electricity or 25% of its overall demand. The run-of-the river hydro schemes do not need large reservoirs, and therefore have minimal environmental impact. The loans which CRERAL needed to finance the plants are paid back by electricity sales and carbon credits. CRERAL is planning and developing more mini-hydro plants which will meet all its current electricity demand.